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Sending directins to a phone using Google search

Sending Google Maps directions to an Android phone hasn't been that hard for a while, but it's now downright easy. Google has introduced a web feature that delivers instructions through a simple search. As long as your phone is properly linked to your Google account, you only have to search for "send directions" to get the ball rolling -- choose the route, hit send and your device will be ready to navigate. Only some people appear to have access to this option as of this writing, but there's a good chance that you'll get to check it out before too long.

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Google might have just hinted at the future of its Glass headsets. The company has sent a mystery "smart BLE" (Bluetooth Low Energy) device to the FCC for approval, the A4R-CAP1, and there are a few telltale signs that it's one of Mountain View's wearables. Most notably, the product's digital FCC label (shown below) not only looks a lot like a Glass interface card, but requires that you swipe to see it -- that suggests a touchstrip, as you'd use on Google's eyepiece. Mentions of an Android-like firmware revision and a battery help, too. There's the possibility that this is another gadget that simply happens to use Glass-style navigation, but that seems less than likely. Don't be surprised if you're eventually plunking CAP1 on your head.

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Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon: These juggernauts are at the forefront of the tech industry. And with that success comes an ever-expanding workforce, and the need for a place to put them. To keep pace with growth, these companies have been making the requisite real-estate deals in order to build physical spaces to match their forward-thinking business approach. Fortunately, their designs are also more environmentally conscious than ever before. With the eyes of the world upon them, they've taken the well-being of the Earth, as well as their employees, into account, building innovative work spaces in an attempt to harmonize with the world around them. Below, we take a look at some of the steps these giants of industry have made over the years as they've moved from garage operations to vast campuses.

[Image: NBBJ]

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Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

How to Design a Roller Coaster That'll Make You Beg For Mercy
by Jeff Wise
Bloomberg Business

When it comes to designing a roller coaster, there are any number of tools that can achieve that maximum thrill. At Carowinds, a theme park that borders North and South Carolina, the Fury 325 debuted this spring. The ride packs a 325-foot drop and top speeds of 95MPH. How does something like this come about? Bloomberg's Jeff Wise will take you for a ride to find out.

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Okay, "bad guys" is a bit of an exaggeration: The green boxes you have to kill in Selfie Assault don't really do anything but stay perfectly still. You'd have to eliminate them all to conquer the game, though -- as its tag line says: "Only cameras can see them. Only selfies can kill them. No filter. No mercy." In Selfie Assault, developed by mint for the Ludum Dare 32 game jam, you go around in a white room, finding enemy green boxes through a virtual phone screen. To make them go away, you'd have to take a selfie with them in the picture. The photo's angle and your position in the selfies don't matter, so you can think up of crazy poses and be creative.

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In case you were on the fence about grabbing one of Google's affordable Nexus tablets, you'd better jump off it pretty soon. The Nexus 7's been pulled from the Google Store, as spotted by TalkAndroid, and it almost assuredly isn't coming back -- especially since the Nexus 9 exists. That means if you still want one of the consistently updated 7-inch slates you'll have to hit places like Amazon while supplies last or wallow in regret for all that could've been. Namely, owning a tablet that (to me at least) is more comfortable to hold than the IPad Mini 2 and is essentially just as capable.

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There's something inexplicably tranquil about gazing at fish in an aquarium as they swim back and forth, darting about rocks or that tacky plastic treasure chest sitting in the corner. But what if you could have one on your desk, without all the water changes, filter cleaning and general maintenance? That's probably a ways off, but Memukhin Oleg's "Fishing Day" explores such a (not entirely virtual) reality. As you'll see in the video below from The Creators Project, he's used a handful of different 3D modeling techniques to bring artificial fishies to life. They react to a handheld submarine, schooling and separating as they might in the real world, flitting through a gaudy shipwreck you'd find at a pet store's aquarium aisle. It's all really, really impressive and there's even a breakdown of how the effects shot came together. The only bad part? The video's a bit on the short side.

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Citing violations of its hired transportation rules, the city of Portland, OR sued Uber last December and temporarily halted the ridesharing company's operations within city limits. Now, after months of haggling with civic and community leaders, Uber has relaunched a "safer and more reliable" version of its UberX service in the Rose City. Under the agreement, Uber X drivers will have to pass background and driving history checks while their cars must pass a vehicle safety inspections conducted by a certified mechanic. Each UberX fare will now include a $1 Safe Rides Fee but should remain pretty reasonable if the table below is accurate.

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GIFs are usually a source of delight and wonder. Artist Vince McKelvie, however, has taken that wonder and warped it beyond recognition. In his new site, click drag click, you can create animated terrors by plugging in a URL of a photo or GIF. Then, just select and drag the image around to start the insanity. When you're done defying the laws of nature, your creation is uploaded to the site's stream of equally creepy images manipulated by people just like you. From there you can share it to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to give all your friends nightmares.

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The US Naval Research Laboratory announced a major breakthrough in materials science on Thursday. After decades of research and development, the NRL has created a transparent, bulletproof material that can be molded into virtually any shape. This material, known as Spinel, is made from a synthetic powdered clay that is heated and pressed under vacuum (aka sintered) into transparent sheets. "Spinel is actually a mineral, it's magnesium aluminate," Dr. Jas Sanghera, who leads the research, said in a statement. "The advantage is it's so much tougher, stronger, harder than glass. It provides better protection in more hostile environments -- so it can withstand sand and rain erosion."

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